Oak Ridge shuts door on Folsom senior night, season

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Tuesday night at Folsom High School was the Delta River League regular season finale for both the Folsom and Oak Ridge volleyball teams. Folsom, in a must-win situation to have any chance at making a push for a fifth consecutive playoff appearance, squared off for the second time against their Delta River League rivals after the Lady Trojans handed them a 3-0 loss on Oct. 14. Oak Ridge (16-15 overall, 7-3 in league), who will have a chance to defend its Sac-Joaquin Section title next week, swept the Lady Bulldogs for the second straight time this year, 25-15, 25-12, and 25-19. “I feel like our team has a new energy now that the season’s over,” said Oak Ridge Coach Becky Potter. “There’s something that rejuvenates you knowing that it’s now playoff time and I’m hoping that we can keep believing in ourselves and commit to winning.” The first game was tied at nine before Oak Ridge sophomore Mysha Davies served up a 4-0 run to get the Lady Trojans rolling. Folsom blocked a few hard attacks from Katie Vaughn and Haley Simmons, but was unable to gain enough momentum as Oak Ridge took the first game. Vaughn led the serving attack late in the second game with seven straight points, including four aces during that stretch, before sending the final point of the game through the Folsom wall for the win. Oak Ridge would go on to win the third game, closing the door on the Lady Bulldogs’ season. “It was a tough season, tougher than I thought it would be,” said Folsom Coach Cinnamon DaSilva as her team finished at 5-16 with a 3-7 mark in league play. “Our league is a strong league. We have to work for wins and earn them because teams in our league aren’t going to give them away.” Tuesday’s game also represented an emotional final game for Folsom’s lone senior Kendyl Saunders, whom DaSilva has coached for the last three years. “Kendyl is just a great kid. Athletic-wise, she’s just average, but she has a great work ethic and works hard for everything she gets,” said DaSilva. “You can’t not be proud of her. She makes everyone feel important on the court and that’s the definition of a leader.” Saunders’ teammates affectionately dubbed senior night “Kendyl Night” while sporting letters on each of their warm-up jerseys that spelled out “We (Heart) Kendyl.” “It’s been a great experience for me,” Saunders said. “I excelled in what I thought my potential was for myself. I wanted to take that leadership role early on and I felt like this was my place that I could shine. I think I proved myself.”